Another (awesome) special edition before the JK’s retirement

It’s no secret Jeep is preparing the next-generation of Wrangler due out for the 2018 model year. As such, the current Wrangler, well-known by its codename JK, has been receiving quite the number of special editions over the least few years. This one, however, is perhaps one of the best. It’s called the Recon and it’s only available with the Rubicon trim. But this isn’t just an appearance package – no, the Rubicon Recon comes with an upgraded front axle, new rock rails, and heavy-duty differential covers.

Those familiar with the Wrangler Rubicon know just how capable it comes from the factory. Even without the Recon upgrades, the Wrangler Rubicon comes with Dana 44 axles front and rear with locking differentials, Jeep’s Rock-Trac manual transfer case with its 4:1 crawl ratio, the electronically disconnecting front sway bar, and its beefy BFGoodrich KM off-road tires.

The handful of modifications Jeep includes within the Recon package only furthers the Wrangler’s dominance over lesser SUVs when it comes to off-roading. Jeep boss Mike Manley had this to say:

“With an array of beefed up off-road components, the new Rubicon Recon provides even more legendary Jeep Wrangler capability. With unmatched capability and a unique appearance, Rubicon Recon is the perfect Wrangler for our most loyal, diehard off-road enthusiasts who love to tackle the most demanding trails.”

Manley is certainly right about Jeep having loyal fans. The Wrangler has soared in popularity since the introduction of the four-door Wrangler Unlimited in 2007. Now as Jeep prepares to debut its all-new 2018 Wrangler JL, those on the fence about purchasing a JK Wrangler will have an even more difficult decision to face.

The 2017 Jeep Wrangler Recon goes on sale in late February 2017 with a starting price of $39,145 for the two-door model and $42,945 for the four-door Wrangler Unlimited.

Let’s check out what Jeep includes in this special edition Wrangler Rubicon.

Continue reading to learn more about the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Recon.

What makes the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Recon

Jeep didn’t just add some graphics, wheels, and a special edition badge to this Wrangler; far from it, in fact. This Wrangler has both cosmetic and mechanical upgrades that give it an edge when the trail turns rough.

Mechanically, the Dana 44 front axle now has stronger housing tubes and heavy-duty forgings that will better withstand the impacts found on rough terrain and the added stress of larger tires. It also features an upgraded, heavy-duty front differential cover made from cast steel. The rear axle also sports the same differential cover upgrade.

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2017 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Recon - image 704794
" This Wrangler has both cosmetic and mechanical upgrades that give it an edge when the trail turns rough."

While the Rubicon already comes with rock rails designed to protect the rocker panel from trail impacts, the Rubicon Recon has new rock rails that extend further past the doors to better protection and to act as a step. Perforated steel plates help grip shoes as occupants enter and exit the Jeep. What’s more, the rock rails are shorter in length than the standard Rubicon rock rails, giving room for larger tires sized up to 35 inches in diameter. That’s huge for those planning on aftermarket wheels and tires.

Speaking of wheels, the Rubicon Recon comes with new, five-spoke, 17-inch aluminum wheels coated with Low Gloss Granite Crystal paint. They are wrapped in the Rubicon’s standard 32-inch BFGoodrich Mud-Terrain T/A KM tires.

2017 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Recon - image 704370
"As for the cosmetic upgrades, that same Low Gloss Granite Crystal paint color is found on the grille inserts and headlight rings. A matte black grille matches the low-gloss front bumper."

As for the cosmetic upgrades, that same Low Gloss Granite Crystal paint color is found on the grille inserts and headlight rings. A matte black grille matches the low-gloss front bumper. Matte black graphics on the heat-reduction hood give the Jeep a unique flair. The Rubicon Recon can be had in one of seven colors. They include Black, Bright White, Billet Silver, Firecracker Red, Gobi, Rhino, and Granite Crystal.

Other notable features include the front and rear bumpers. The front bumper has been seen on other Wrangler special editions, including the Rubicon Hard Rock. It is winch-capable, meaning with a Mopar winch mounting bracket, an electric recovery winch will fit neatly inside. Red tow hooks provide easy recovery points. The end caps are also removable with a few hex bolts, making giving the Wrangler’s tires unobstructed access to taller obstacles.

The rear bumper also features two red tow hooks, along with a center step for easy access to the cargo area. An access hole on the right hand side allows for a frame-mounted Mopar spare tire carrier to be installed. These frame-mounted carriers are used when oversized tires are added, which would overstress the tailgate hinges.

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"Jeep didn’t forget about the Wrangler Rubicon Recon’s interior, either. It features unique red contrast stitching and red cargo netting on the door panels and center console. Matching red seatbelts further accentuate the cabin."

Jeep didn’t forget about the Wrangler Rubicon Recon’s interior, either. It features unique red contrast stitching and red cargo netting on the door panels and center console. Matching red seatbelts further accentuate the cabin. What’s more, Jeep has introduced a new gauge cluster, which includes an upgraded driver information center. The larger screen now shows a digital speedometer, individual tire pressure, oil pressure, transmission and coolant temperatures, among other vitals. This upgrade has been needed for a long time. The Wrangler’s gauge cluster has been around since 2012 and already looks a decade old.

As for option packages, the Rubicon Recon comes standard with the Jeep Connectivity Group, Power Convenience Group, Satellite Radio, remote start, and auto temperature controls. And as mentioned above, the two-door version starts at $39,145, while the four-door starts at $42,945.

Truck Finder:

Press Release

Already the most capable production vehicle in the world, Jeep® Wrangler is about to deliver even more capability – specifically more protection from the most severe, rugged off-road terrain – with the addition of the new Wrangler Rubicon Recon. Improved off-road prowess is a result of a stronger front axle, enhanced rock rails and heavy-duty cast differential covers.

“With an array of beefed up off-road components, the new Rubicon Recon provides even more legendary Jeep Wrangler capability,” said Mike Manley, Head of Jeep Brand – FCA Global. “With unmatched capability and a unique appearance, Rubicon Recon is the perfect Wrangler for our most loyal, diehard off-road enthusiasts who love to tackle the most demanding trails.”

The new 2017 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Recon Edition arrives in showrooms later this month at a U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $39,145 for the two-door model and $42,945 for the Wrangler Unlimited (four-door) model.

2017 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Recon - image 704373

Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Recon Edition
Based on the Wrangler Rubicon model, the Rubicon Recon Edition ups the off-road ante with a front axle upgrade that features strengthened tubes and heavy-duty end forgings, heavy-duty cast front and rear differential covers and enhanced off-road rock rails that are shortened to accommodate up to 35-inch tires. It is equipped with Wrangler’s part-time four-wheel-drive system that has electronic-locking front and rear Dana 44 axles with power being sent to each through a Rock-Trac transfer case with a “4-Low” ratio of 4:1. A 4.10 front and rear axle ratio is standard as are Tru-Lok locking differentials. With a six-speed manual transmission, the Wrangler Rubicon Recon Edition has an impressive crawl ratio of 73.1:1 that makes climbing obstacles easy.

Wrangler Rubicon Recon Edition is offered in seven colors: Black, Bright White, Billet Silver, Firecracker Red, Gobi, Rhino and Granite Crystal.

Wrangler Rubicon Recon Edition has many different features that make it distinctive, including a half-inch lift, new 17-inch Low Gloss Granite Crystal-painted aluminum wheels wrapped in 32-inch BF Goodrich KM off-road tires, optional body-color fender flares and a dual-vented Power Dome hood with a black-silhouette “Rubicon” decal on both sides.

2017 Jeep Wrangler Rubicon Recon - image 704372

A Low Gloss Black grille with Low Gloss Granite Crystal inserts and headlamp rings, Low Gloss Black off-road bumpers and Jeep badge with a red base give the Wrangler Rubicon Recon a toughened exterior look. The steel front bumper features a winch-capable design and removable end caps that help the Wrangler Rubicon Recon climb obstacles without any issues and reduce damage on the trail. Red tow hooks in front and back also provide the Rubicon Recon with added protection and help separate it from the rest of the Wrangler lineup.

Inside, the Wrangler Rubicon Recon comes standard with an eight-speaker audio system, black leather heated seats with a “Rubicon” embroidered logo and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with red accent stitching. Black vinyl-wrapped front door armrest and console lid with black stitching, red accent netting on front and rear door pockets and the center console, and red accent-colored seatbelts help to distinguish the Rubicon Recon from the rest of the Wrangler lineup. A dashboard plaque displays information regarding the front and rear axles, front sway bar, transfer case and tires. A Premium Sunrider soft top is standard while a body-color hard top is also available.

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A unique gauge cluster features exclusive styling and also features a premium Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) with added read-outs, such as oil pressure, transmission and coolant temperatures, digital speed and individual tire pressure, which are helpful when out on the trail. The passenger grab handle features Midnight Star Black accents that are also found on the vent rings, steering wheel spokes and door pulls.

Final design touches include all-weather slush mats with a red accent “Jeep” logo and red accented axle locker and sway-bar disconnect switches. Jeep’s Connectivity Group, Power Convenience Group, Satellite Radio, remote starter and auto temperature control are also standard.

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